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About The Production
Principal photography on What Dreams May Come began in late June 1997 in Montana's Glacier National Park, culminating in the San Francisco Bay area 75 days later

Principal photography on What Dreams May Come began in late June 1997 in Montana's Glacier National Park, culminating in the San Francisco Bay area 75 days later. "The first thing we did was to try to figure out where we could construct these huge (majestic) vistas," says Co-Producer Alan Blomquist. "Some were done on computer but many were done 'in camera'." The greensmen on the film literally imported flowers and plants to the park and all over the Bay Area.

Interiors were built at Treasure Island in San Francisco where the construction crew erected gigantic sets in vast, empty hangars bigger than most sound stages in Los Angeles. There, a 300,000 gallon pool was flooded with water and multi-story sets were built around it. The design team arranged the sets as if they were on an operatic stage, Blomquist notes. The pond was the central set piece and "we had set changes like act changes, that is a set is taken out and an entirely new set is brought in."

Production designer Eugenio Zanetti and scores of artists realized the concept of Chris' Painted World afterlife as envisioned by director Vincent Ward. After death, Chris wakes up in a bed of brush-stroked flowers whose petals move in the wind. "The whole second act is basically within this painting," subtly set up by the first, notes Zanetti. "It introduces some classical images about 'the other side' that are important but it also allows us to create a mood through painting. From there we free ourselves from those images and go further."

Since all the images in Chris' afterlife are rooted in his earthly world, his daughter Marie's World was fashioned from the toy miniature theater her mother made, complete with an enormous staircase, a 'bridge city' and a marionette theater that springs to life.

Chris' nightmarish recollection of unresolved issues with his son centered around a ship graveyard from an ancient battlefield filled with dying soldiers, derived from the boy's toy models, and an aircraft carrier as seen in flashback, explains Zanetti.

A 1,200-foot long aircraft carrier at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard became passage into the Underworld for the graveyard sequence. It proved a "huge canvas to paint on," notes Blomquist, with the horrifying images of a sea of suffering faces and the squirming pack of Hellions clawing at Chris as he descends into Hell's upside down cathedral, only to find the crumbling shell of Annie's imagined home nearby. It is the polar opposite of her lush Italian villa depicted in earlier scenes of Chris' afterlife.

In searching for an overall painterly style, Ward found his muse in the works of Monet, Van Gogh and the 19th-Century German romanticists, such as Casper David Friedrich. "The German romantics were fascinating because they believed that nature was more powerful than man," Ward says. "They created a sense of paradise that's not a tame place. It's a place of roaring winds and twisted trees and steep mountains and mist.., incredibly beautiful but at the same time quite alone. Friedrich seemed to convey that more in his work than anybody else."

After several script rewrites, Ward, Zanetti and Art Director Thomas Voth began assembling their team, bringing in artists from all over the world to render Heaven and Hell. Stephen Hannock was one of the contemporary artists who captured the mood and atmosphere Ward desired for Annie's paintings. Hannock builds up an imag

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